Thousands pay respects to Sen. Feinstein at San Francisco City Hall

For one final time, Dianne Feinstein, California's late Senator, San Francisco's former mayor and Supervisor left San Francisco City Hall where she started her career more than 50 years ago.

Watch the memorial service for Dianne Feinstein on Thursday at 1 p.m. live above.

On Wednesday night, an honor guard escorted her casket out of City Hall where she had been lying in state all day. Family and friends including House Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi and San Francisco Mayor London Breed were there with the Feinstein family.

The Mayor's Office said the family had asked that the public visitation hours be extended past 7 p.m., so that all people who had been waiting in line would have an opportunity to say goodbye.

Earlier in the evening, beautiful music sung from the heart by the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus filled the rotunda.

"It's surreal because the chorus has been linked to her since the day it went public," said James Machado, a member of the SF Gay Men's Chorus, "Now to come full circle at the end of her public career, it's hard to explain."

Senator Feinstein's daughter, granddaughter and other family and friends put their hands over their hearts, as the chorus sang the Star-Spangled Banner, Robert Seely's Never Ever, and an Irish blessing.

"It's been a very emotional day for her family, for so many people who told me the stories of where they were or their experiences of the Senator," said Mayor Breed, "We've seen people walk up in tears. You could tell there were a lot of emotions here today."

"She knew her purpose and she did things on her own terms, but always did them with gentleness," said Speaker Emerita Pelosi.

All day, a line of people paid their respects, moving past the casket.

MORE: Sen. Feinstein's memorial no longer open to public due to 'increased security'

On the second floor, people put flowers around the statue that captured the smiling face of a younger Dianne Feinstein, who walked the halls as a member of the Board of supervisors from 1970 - 1978 and then as Mayor from 1978-1988.

Outside City Hall, the line of people who came from around the Bay Area wrapped down the street and around the block.

"She's done so much and this is a rare opportunity to get to pay respects to someone who's been so impactful," said Jacob Schaaf of San Francisco.

"She was a great leader, tremendous respect for her," said Joanne Dale who came from Sebastapol.

"She was also a fighter. She fought for human rights and I respect her for that," said Francita Cooper, a San Francisco native.

Dignitaries, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, came to honor Feinstein.

In City Hall's south light court, people waited to write messages on thousands of pages that will be put into a book for the family.

The memorial service will begin at 1 p.m. Thursday.